Saturday, November 16, 2013

Organ Donation: To Donate or Not to Donate...that is the question

I had an interesting encounter ~1wk ago when I took my sister to get some testing done. The recovery room nurse was checking her patient ID bracelet and she noticed her green bracelet. The RN asked her what the bracelet was for.  Now Julie was still drugged up but was able to drowsily state it was for organ donation and then asked the RN if she was an organ donor. 
To my amazement, the RN replied, "Hmm, I don't know if I could do that."  I quickly replied that she doesn't need her organs when she is gone. Why not help someone else?  She then stated, "I hear they leave you a mess."  WHAT!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAARRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH!  Really? Really? I informed her that is not true and after organs are procured families can still have a viewing of their loved ones. I'm not sure if she was creeped out but she quickly left Julie's recovery area and I sat there dazed that a medical professional had such misinformation and wondering if one of her patients asked her about organ donation that she would say the above.
It really bothered me, not because I feel everyone has to be pro organ donation but because I want everyone to make an informed decision and its medical professionals that are giving the facts.

I told my husband the story and he got quite annoyed and thought I should write a letter about her ignorant statements. I didn't feel that was necessary. I told him I never learned of organ donation when I went to nursing school or in my graduate level schooling.  The nurse is misinformed or has no idea about organ donation. That just means more education and awareness needs to happen regarding organ donation. I will attempt to do this at any given opportunity and I am going to try and find more opportunities.

Please know that if you chose to become an organ donor, you have the possibility to save EIGHT other human lives! EIGHT!!!!!
Please know that if your drivers license states you are an organ donor and you are in a terrible accident and brought into the ER they do not stop trying to save you because you an organ donor. I heard that as a reason not to become an organ donor when I was at K-College. When a trauma comes thru the ER doors, I assure you they do not have time to search for your license, saving you is their number one priority.
Please know if you are an organ donor and you have a viewing, no one will see you in 'parts'.  Organ procurement is a delicate time consuming procedure. After they procure your organs you are sewn back together and the funeral home will prepare your body for a viewing if that is your wish or family's wish.

Please take time to watch this clip about organ donation. It will touch your soul.

For more information on organ donation and registering visit